"In her strongest language yet, Democrat Alex Sink blasted Republican rival Rick Scott as a mystery candidate who is trying to buy his way into the Governor's Office, 'doesn't know zip about Florida' and whose proposals are 'totally unrealistic.'" "Alex Sink blasts Rick Scott: 'I just refuse to let (him) hijack my state without a fight'".
RPOFers always looking for wedge issues
"Looking for another possible wedge issue to use in the 2012 election cycle, Florida's Republican-led Legislature wants voters to weigh in on whether the federal government should be required to balance its budget like most states do." "Florida has straw ballot on US balanced budget".
Rubio's credit card
"The Miami Herald is raising additional questions about Marco Rubio’s alleged use of campaign money for personal expenses. A reimbursement check he deposited in 2002 more closely resembles a car payment." "As federal action on energy stalls, St. Pete workshop calls for Florida to lead".
The Obama effect
"President Barack Obama's unfavorable standing among voters nationwide is hurting fellow Democrats like Alex Sink, who is trying to break the GOP hold on the governor's office." "Democrats see chance, face barriers in Florida governor's race".
See this Sunshine State News poll: "Poll: Rick Scott Takes Lead, 'Favored to Win'" "In a poll released Monday by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Scott leads Sink 46 percent to 42 percent. The business-backed group, which surveyed 800 likely voters, has endorsed Scott." "Sink: Scott trying to buy office". Related: "Chamber poll: Repubs beating Dems in all statewide races".
Teabaggers hold sway in latest U.S. Senate poll
"A majority of Floridians say the state is heading in the wrong direction and likely voters are continuing to lean toward Republican Marco Rubio over the now independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek in the race for U.S. Senate."
According to a TCPalm.com/Zogby poll released Tuesday, 39.2 percent of the state’s voters favor Rubio, while 33 percent went with Crist and 17.6 percent are intending to vote for the Democratic congressman from Miami.Analysis here: "TCPalm.com/Zogby poll: Rubio continues to lead Senate race" (the poll in which 802 registered voters were interviewed between Sept. 27 and Sept. 29 has a 3.5 percent margin of error.)
The poll showed a narrower gap than a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday that put Rubio 13 percentage points ahead of Crist. Rubio also had an 11-point lead over Crist in polls released Wednesday by CNN/Time and Rasmussen.
"Scene of Financial Disaster"
"CFO lectures on managing pension funds in city where Floridians lost $266 million". "Alex Sink Returns to Scene of Financial Disaster".
Teabaggers in a dither
"Organizers of the scrapped Sarah Palin event say the show will go on -- with a date to be announced later this week. The 2008 vice presidential candidate and former Alaska governor was to appear at American Airlines arena Wednesday, but the Liberty & Freedom Foundation -- which is putting on the event -- says its own scheduling conflict caused the postponement, not Palin." "Sarah Palin's Miami event postponed, new date to be announced".
Never mind the hypocrisy
"Miami's three Republican Cuban-American members of Congress threw their support behind Rick Scott on Monday, despite not seeing eye-to-eye with the GOP gubernatorial candidate on one of the signature issues of their congressional careers: immigration."
Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who had backed Attorney General Bill McCollum for governor in the brutal Republican primary, admitted that they disagree with Scott's support of bringing an Arizona-style immigration law to Florida, a centerpiece of his primary campaign. ...More:
The trio of representatives brushed aside concerns about the $1.7 billion fraud scandal tied to Scott's former hospital business, Columbia/HCA.
Neither Scott nor the members of Congress mentioned the i-word. But the immigration issue came up during a sometimes tense news conference with Scott at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Coral Gables."3 back Rick Scott, sidestep immigration issue".
The lawmakers had forcefully voiced their opposition and disappointment during the final days of the GOP primary when McCollum unveiled a last-minute immigration plan he called "tougher'' in some ways than Arizona's controversial measure.
At the time, Ros-Lehtinen, a co-chair of McCollum's Hispanic leadership team, declared herself ``blindsided'' by McCollum's proposal and said other issues were more important. Ads running on Spanish-language radio with Lincoln Diaz-Balart praising McCollum were pulled.
Polls show the Arizona measure is popular among voters -- except with Hispanics, the fastest growing part of the electorate and an important constituency in South and Central Florida.
Second amendment remedies
A busy day for stories about yee haws asserting them good ole second amendment remedies: "2 killed, 5 wounded in Gainesville shooting spree", "Jury selection in Flagler double-murder trial begins" ("Investigators say Gregory ... armed himself with a shotgun he took from a closet in the home and used it to kill the couple as they slept") and "Teen who survived rampage released from hospital" ("the 15-year-old boy who witnessed the shooting deaths of his mother and four siblings at their South Florida home has been released from the hospital.")
And then there's this: "Police: Armed home intruders attack woman, son in St. Pete".
"Rising star" agin' the "wonder kid"
"The two leading contenders for agriculture commissioner are a mirror image: a 36-year-old congressman and rising Republican star and a 42-year-old Democrat and former state party chairman who was also hailed as a wonder kid." "Ag commissioner candidates similar".
"Heroes and Zeroes"
Nancy Smith's "Heroes and Zeroes": "Thumbs up, LeMieux and Nelson; thumbs way down, Grayson and Bennett".
That I-4 corridor thing
"A visit from former Vice President Al Gore on behalf of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek in Tampa last Thursday dominated the local news cycle for a while, but it didn’t last long."
The next day Republic candidate for U.S. Senate Marco Rubio showed up just north of Tampa at a Pasco County restaurant with his own national political star, Mitt Romney, getting the attention of both national and Tampa Bay area media. Then over the weekend, independent Gov. Charlie Crist came to town seeking union votes in the same U.S. Postal Service hall where Gore stumped for Meek just days earlier."Rubio, Crist cap off busy days of politicking around Tampa Bay, key to statewide victory".
It all amounted to the familiar campaign strategy that any successful candidate in a statewide race in Florida has to push for votes from Tampa Bay to Orlando, known as the I-4 corridor.
Another brilliant idea
A "brilliant health insurance program", "endorsed by U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio dubbed Health Choices -- an exchange for unregulated health policies -- hasn't enrolled one person. "
"Democrat Stacy Frank is running against Republican Dana Young to represent the district that covers parts of western Hillsborough County, including Westchase, Town 'N Country and South Tampa." "District 57 opponents split on most issues".
Get a life
"Broward man forms 340 PACs, 40 political parties — and is running for governor".
"Behind in fundraising and virtually unknown to many voters, chief financial officer candidate Loranne Ausley is trying to tar her opponent with nearly every questionable move made by the Legislature." "Democrat Loranne Ausley keys on legislative taint in CFO race against GOP Sen. Jeff Atwater".
The Bushco recession lingers on
"Employment opportunities crashed along with home values".
What's wrong with Hillsborough County?
The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman should abandon his race for the state Senate and allow the local Republican Party to replace him."
The revelation that the late political powerbroker Ralph Hughes helped finance the purchase of a lakefront Arkansas home by Norman's wife destroys Norman's credibility."Norman should abandon race".
When the press first reported that Norman's wife had bought the resort house for $435,000 cash, Norman stressed there were other investors, though only his wife's name was on the deed, an unusual arrangement.
These investors were close family friends and didn't want media coverage, Norman told us when we asked for their identities. He said he wanted to provide their names, but they would not agree to go public.
Now Norman's lawyer concedes Hughes, who died in 2008, provided the money that made the purchase possible.
The mysterious investors that Norman said he was obligated to protect apparently do not exist.
Norman had good reason for wanting to keep secret his family's financial ties to Hughes. The controversial Hughes contributed heavily to Norman's campaigns and was intensely involved in county issues, pushing a pro-development, anti-government agenda that Norman usually supported.
Daniel Ruth: "This is what happens when you have been face down in the slop of the public trough for so long you begin to think the rules don't apply to you because you're special, because no one will the wiser, because you are — Jim Norman." "A tawdry tale from the trough".
"Faulty Paperwork Could Slow Florida Foreclosures".
"As federal action on energy stalls, St. Pete workshop calls for Florida to lead".
"Republican Shawn Harrison, a lawyer and former Tampa city councilman, is pitted against Democrat Russ Patterson, a retired Air Force officer, in a race to replace term-limited Republican Rep. Ed Homan. The district represents Lutz, North Tampa, Temple Terrace and Thonotosassa." "Ex-councilman takes on Air Force vet in District 60 race".
Entrepreneurs in action
"Oil industry has yet to adopt lessons of BP spill".